A field of eight sophomore fillies has been entered in Saturday’s $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), but Farrell is easily the one to watch in the 1 1/16-mile contest as she goes for her fourth straight victory.
Trained by Wayne Catalano, the dark bay lass captured the Silverbulletday Stakes and Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) thus far this year, and will attempt to complete the Fair Grounds sweep of Kentucky Oaks (G1) preps for three-year-old fillies.
The Malibu Moon lass closed out her juvenile campaign with a six-length wire job in the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs last November, and keeps regular rider Channing Hill in the saddle as the 8-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s Fair Grounds Oaks.
Wicked Lick and Majestic Quality each ran second to Farrell recently, with the former filling that spot in the Silverbulletday and the latter taking the place position in the Rachel Alexandra.
Wicked Lick also ran in the Rachel Alexandra, finishing fourth at 40-1, and keeps Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard for trainer Brendan Walsh. Majestic Quality is still a maiden heading into the Fair Grounds Oaks and will have Richard Eramia in the irons for trainer Keith Desormeaux.
Daria’s Angel will be trying stakes rivals for the first time Saturday after breaking her maiden by eight lengths in her third try on February 18. That mile-and-70-yard contest occurred at Fair Grounds for trainer Bret Calhoun, who has tabbed jockey Robby Albarado to ride the Gemologist filly on Saturday.
Corporate Queen and Vexations are in the same position of making their stakes bows in the Fair Grounds Oaks. After taking her maiden debut for Tim Keefe, Corporate Queen was transferred to trainer Mark Casse, for whom she ran second in a seven-furlong allowance/optional claimer on March 10 at Gulfstream Park. Vexations enters here for Neil Drysdale, who saddled the Giant’s Causeway miss to a third-place finish against allowance/optional claiming rivals going 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita Park on March 9.
Florent Geroux has the call on Corporate Queen while regular rider Kent Desormeaux will make the trek from California to pilot Vexations.
Queen Bernardine completes the Fair Grounds Oaks field after Casse said earlier this week that Grade 2-placed Summer Luck would be withdrawn to join his string headed to Keeneland. Unplaced in her prior two attempts facing stakes company, Queen Bernardine will be making her first start here for new trainer Calhoun.